The Pittsburgh Penguins finished off the Washington Capitals the past Saturday with a 3-0 win at Capital One Arena. Tristan Jarry got the win for the Pens. The Capitals were missing Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson both due to injury while the Penguins were missing Evgeni Malkin, Brandon Tanev, and Evan Rodrigues. Additionally, Mike Matheson left the game with an upper-body injury too. The Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals series lived up to the hype this season bringing lots of physical presence. The Penguins and the Capitals both clinched a playoff spot in the seventh game of the series. Pittsburgh went four for 25 in the series on the powerplay. A 16% that they will no doubt want to improve on should these two teams meet come playoff time.
Penguins vs Capitals Season Review
Penguins Generate Elite Offence Down lineup
The Penguins have scored a total of 28 goals vs the Capitals this season. The first line offensively dominated the Capitals the first six games. However, the bottom two lines provided major offensive production throughout the series. The bottom two lines have been great since the addition of Frederick Gaudreau as he’s been a major upgrade over Mark Jankowski.
Helping out more defensively, offensively, and standing at 6 feet, he’s got some grit in his game. The bottom six got nine of the 28 goals that the Penguins scored throughout the series. They have always provided solid defensive play for the Penguins. However, lately, they have also been picking up offensively and it’s made a huge impact for the Penguins down the stretch.
Jake Guentzel was also a difference-maker in the Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals series. He’s got an even five goals and assists. His shot has been red hot with a shooting percentage of 20.8% throughout the series. The former University of Nebraska saviour leads the Penguins forwards on TOI/GP vs the Caps sitting at 20:22 per game. He currently leads the Penguins in goals and penalties drawn. Guenztel has always stepped his game up when they face their rivals in the Caps.
Penguins Goalies Stay Hot
Surrey native, Tristan Jarry was the starter in the series playing six of the eight games. He ended up taking four wins in those six games. Additionally, he held a save percentage of .921% and a goals-against-average of 2.49. The former University of New Hampshire starting goaltender, Casey DeSmith played two of the eight games holding a sv% of .857% plus a GAA of 3.33. This still resulted in two wins with the Penguins playing well in front of him. Clearly, Jarry has been better through more games. The Penguins goalie tandem is 11th in the league for high danger save percentage sitting at 83.06%.
Total Series Stats
240 Shots 248
274 Hits 195
53 PIM 53
87 Blocks 109
43 Takeaways 60
53 Giveaways 43
46.35% FO% 53.65%
Penguins vs Capitals Playoff Series Possible
There is a chance the two rivals could face each other once again in the playoffs. What can we expect from the series? The Penguin’s top-line showing maximum production. Pittsburgh’s first unit is always the most dominant vs Washington, all three players will be playing top minutes per night. One thing we ALL expect is physicality.
The hockey world is out for Tom Wilson and his head right now. The Capitals forward has always given the Penguins trouble offensively so they would look to shut him down. Pittsburgh did a great job containing Alex Ovechkin from getting scoring chances from his office this season. The Russian star often gets to a different level come playoff time, so that will need to be a priority for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh would also look to Tristan Jarry to lock down the crease as he has all season vs the Capitals.
After eight entertaining games this season, another playoff series would be quite the battle.